Postdoctoral Researcher (Groundwater Sustainability)

Kansas Geological Survey (University of Kansas)
Lawrence, KS, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Degree Required: 


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Position Overview

Exploring Groundwater Sustainability Pathways for the High Plains Aquifer

Seeking a postdoctoral scholar with a passion for groundwater sustainability and a penchant for thinking big to help envision a sustainable future for the High Plains Aquifer. The successful candidate will lead integrated land surface-groundwater modelling efforts to evaluate agricultural practices for the past and future of the High Plains Aquifer at multiple spatial and temporal scales. Within overarching project goals, the candidate will be given freedom to develop and pursue the research directions they find most interesting.

The postdoc will be based at the Kansas Geological Survey, a research and service unit of the University of Kansas, and this position will collaborate widely and internationally as part of multi-institution INFEWS and USDA NIFA projects to produce high-impact research with real-world implications. This position’s direct supervisor will be Sam Zipper ( Mentorship within the Zipper research group is focused on helping you meet your professional goals, whether in academia or elsewhere.

This position has funding for 2 years pending performance, and includes an annual research/travel budget to support professional development.   The initial appointment will be for one year with the expectation of renewal for an additional year with satisfactory performance.

Starting Date: Preferred September 3, 2019, but flexible for the right candidate.

Application Deadline: Review of applications will begin April 15, 2019, and continue until the position is filled.

Salary, Employment Status, and Fringe Benefits: Starting salary of $47,500 - $50,000, depending on qualifications and experience. Annual professional development budget. Other benefits include university staff privileges; 22 days vacation leave, 12 days sick leave, and 9 holidays annually; group medical, life insurance, and retirement program options.

Job Description

90%: Conduct fundamental research on groundwater sustainabilty in the High Plains Aquifer

  • Implement integrated land surface-groundwater models to develop and evaluate water sustainability pathways.
  • Develop and pursue new research directions related to water in agricultural landscapes.
  • Present results at conferences and publish results in peer-reviewed journals.

10%: Service to discipline and institution

Required Qualifications

Evaluation of the following requirements will be made through (1) descriptions of research and educational experiences in cover letter, (2) record of accomplishments in resume/curriculum vitae, (3) information from professional references, and (4) college transcripts.

Required qualifications:

  1. A Ph.D. degree in natural science, engineering, or a related discipline with an emphasis on water (hydrogeology/hydrology, water resources, agriculture) or related field by the time of appointment.
  2. Expertise in groundwater and/or land surface modelling.
  3. Ability to work both independently and collaboratively.
  4. Strong communication skills as evidenced by peer-reviewed publications/conference presentations documented in application materials.

Preferred Qualifications

  1. Coding experience with any of R, Python, FORTRAN, MATLAB, etc.
  2. Experience with integrated models, GIS, and/or high-performance computing.
  3. Familiarity with irrigated agricultural landscapes.

Contact Information to Applicants

For further technical information about the position, contact Sam Zipper at 

For further information about other aspects of the position, contact Annette Delaney at   or (785) 864-2152.

Additional Candidate Instruction

Upload the following information in the online application process:

  • Cover letter (max 2 pages) including how you meet the qualifications and statement of interest.
  • Full CV.
  • Contact information for 3 references (email address and phone number).
  • College and graduate school transcripts (unofficial copies acceptable).

Review of applications will begin April 15, 2019, and continue until the position is filled.